South Dakota Facts & Figures


South Dakota exported over $1.4 billion of goods in 2015. Over 950 companies export from South Dakota each year, and 75 percent of those companies are small and medium businesses. Overall, trade supports 130,000 jobs in the state.

Job Creation

  • Trade supported 130,000 jobs in South Dakota in 2013, or 22% of total jobs.1
  • In 2013, around 939 companies exported goods from South Dakota. Small- and medium-sized enterprises with fewer than 500 employees made up 75% of total South Dakota exporters in 2013.2
  • In 2013, 12,500 people in South Dakota were employed by affiliates of companies that are at least 50% foreign-owned.3

Exports and Growth

  • South DakotaSouth Dakota exported $1.4 billion in goods to foreign markets in 2015. South Dakota’s largest markets in 2015 were:
    • Canada ($527 million)
    • Mexico ($404 million)
    • Saudi Arabia ($64 million)
    • Japan ($36 million)
    • China ($34 million)4
  • Agricultural exports are important to South Dakota’s economy, totaling over $4.3 billion in 2014, according to the USDA.5
  • Since 2011, the U.S. Export-Import Bank has financed $29 million in exports from 13 companies in 9 communities in South Dakota.6
  • Since 1971, the Overseas Private Investment Corporation has invested $3.1 million in South Dakota companies for overseas investment.7

Education and Research

  • In 2013-2014, 757 South Dakota students studied abroad.8
  • During 2015, 1,782 international students were enrolled in South Dakota colleges and universities and contributed $32 million to the South Dakota economy.9

Global Engagement

  • Since 1961, 646 Peace Corps volunteers from South Dakota have served in dozens of countries overseas.10

Download the Fact Sheet

  1. http://businessroundtable.org/resources/state-data#map=Benefits_of_International_Trade
  2. http://www.trade.gov/mas/ian/statereports/index.asp
  3. http://businessroundtable.org/resources/state-data#map=Benefits_of_International_Trade
  4. http://www.trade.gov/mas/ian/statereports/index.asp
  5. http://www.ers.usda.gov/data-products/state-fact-sheets.aspx#.U2ERwbQzqX48
  6. http://customermap.exim.gov/index.cfm
  7. http://www.opic.gov/sites/default/files/docs/OPIC_local_impact.pdf
  8. http://www.iie.org/Research-and-Publications/Open-Doors/Data/Fact-Sheets-by-US-State/2015
  9. http://www.iie.org/Research-and-Publications/Open-Doors/Data/Fact-Sheets-by-US-State/2015
  10. http://files.peacecorps.gov/images/news/releases/15-PRS-top-states_v1.pdf

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